After a 6-2 victory against Toronto Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks travelled to Edmonton to lay a whipping on the hometown Oilers the next night. The Sedin twins, after a slow stretch, combined for 8 points in the Saturday win and again stepped it up production-wise, scoring 53 seconds into the game and combining for 4 more points on this night.
For a more detailed recap, scoring chance numbers, the Statistical Three Stars and the Statistical Three Goats, click past the jump:
-The particulars: the scoring chances tonight were clocked at 18-12 total for the Canucks. However, they did benefit from an “on” powerplay tonight, and even strength totals were more modest at 13-11. By the same token, they played the whole game with the lead so there was little reason for the Canucks to press: score-tied, 5v5, the scoring chances were 1-0, the 1 being the Henrik Sedin goal that put the Canucks ahead.
-Despite a alright screen, I didn’t count the Kevin Bieksa goal as a chance. It was from well outside a reasonable range and wasn’t tipped on the way through. [Former Kamloops Blazer] Devan Dubnyk looked awful on the shot, as he did on a bunch of shots, actually. He stopped 3 of the first 6 shots he faced and, despite coming in with the score already 2-0, his performance probably sunk the Oilers, although his team gave him minimal help.
-The Canucks moved the puck really well tonight. Half of their scoring chances were “assisted” in some form thanks to good puck movement preceding the event. This was most apparent on the first Canuck goal, with Nikolai Khabibulin halfway onto the wrong side of the road when Henrik easily banked one in [shown below]. The other positive? The Canucks were getting their chances on net, missing just one of their 18 attempts, forcing the Oilers replacement-level keepers to make saves.
-The Sedins were clearly the best Canucks in this one. They had the benefit of a couple of extra offensive starts, but Henrik, Daniel and Alex Burrows were all +3 or better scoring chance-wise, although the Corsi numbers weren’t as indicative of this. I think they were saved on defense by the way that the Oilers have maybe four guys who can shoot at an NHL-level.
-One of those guys is Jordan Eberle, who was a +3 in chances for Edmonton, had a couple of shots on net (missed the net on two chances) and set up a Taylor Hall attempt. He looked pretty alright in this one. But the best kid for the Oilers was Taylor Hall, who had four shots and was a +5 in chances. Also led all skaters with a +12 Corsi, though that was largely helped by score effects.
-Defensively, Alex Edler and Sami Salo were, somehow, Vancouver’s top pairing. Despite a minus-1 scoring chance differential, they took their minutes against a Magnus Paajarvi-Anton Lander-Ales Hemsky trio that was alright at possession when they weren’t matched up against Edler/Salo. But Salo-Edler wasn’t dominant in this one: the fourth line always gets credit for taking the defensive zone starts (Manny Malhotra had five defensive zone faceoffs again) and not allowing many chances against. It would have been nice for that line to have been rewarded for a goal again, but an apparent goal by Malhotra was called off on an apparent kicking motion. I agreed with the NHL’s decision.
-I’d expect that line to get some reinforcements this week. Apparently, Byron Bitz may be out with a hip flexor.
-For Edmonton, Andy Sutton, a rotational defenseman (he’s pretty much Edmonton’s Andrew Alberts) put together a solid performance tonight, being part of the Edmonton penalty kill unit that didn’t get strung up for 50 chances against. He also showed some offensive flair with a rare shot and set up a Sam Gagner chance midway through the third period. He had easy minutes, with 4:1 offensive:defensive faceoffs and playing his time against the Chris Higgins-Cody Hodgson-Jannik Hansen line.
-That HHH line for Vancouver had spots of brllliance especially in the second period, but Hodgson was pretty average in this game, failing to record a shot on goal.
-The second line for Edmonton, usually a pretty strong possession unit featuring Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff, despite a goal and a couple of chances, didn’t fare too strong defensively against the Sedin twins.
-The Vancouver second line was pretty average, They were the only group to have all of its members in positive Corsi territory but didn’t turn any of those into scoring chances. Ryan Kesler took seven shots, the only truly offensively capable player on that line on this night, and four of his 11 shot attempts were recorded as scoring chances.
-Here’s a shots breakdown:
-Anything else you noticed about this one, feel free to chime in in the comments section.
STATISTICAL THREE STARS
- Henrik Sedin, Vancouver
- Taylor Hall, Edmonton
- Andy Sutton, Edmonon
STATISTICAL THREE GOATS
- Devan Dubnyk, Edmonton
- Ladislav Smid, Edmonton
- Shawn Horcoff, Edmonton
SCORING CHANCE DATA
|VAN||1||19:07||VAN G 1-0 H. Sedin||2||3||14||22||33||35||5||10||28||35||58||94||5v5|
|VAN||1||13:26||VAN G 2-0 Salo||6||17||22||23||33||35||10||35||58||77||5v3|
|EDM||2||18:52||EDM G 2-1 Horcov||2||3||14||22||33||35||5||10||28||40||77||94||5v5|
|VAN||2||3:20||VAN G 4-1 Higgins||2||3||9||20||35||36||10||13||14||25||40||94||5v5|
|EDM||2||1:37||EDM G 4-2 Paajarvi||7||8||17||22||29||35||5||40||57||77||83||91||5v5|
|VAN||3||19:27||VAN G 5-2 D. Sedin||2||3||14||22||33||35||5||10||28||40||77||94||5v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|